Jurgen Klopp has spoken of how two of his players at Liverpool developed a ‘pretty special partnership’ with one another at Anfield.
Darwin Nunez arrived at the club in the summer of 2022 in a deal which could potentially rise to £85m (BBC Sport), which naturally brought substantial expectations on the Uruguay striker.
The 24-year-old initially struggled to grasp the English language and had to ride out criticism from some quarters in the media last season, but Mo Salah is credited with having been a huge pillar of support for the ex-Benfica marksman on Merseyside.
Speaking in Friday afternoon’s press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City tomorrow, Klopp said of the Egyptian (via Liverpool Echo): “He is really good with his team-mates, and the forward players. He is pretty special. Long may it continue.
“You can’t become a Liverpool player if you’re not football-smart. Darwin and Mo look for each other but it’s not like they cut out the other boys. It’s just a different way of playing.
“Mo supports the boys. Darwin came here with big expectations, and Mo probably understood the situation best and saw his potential and wanted to help him. Without having the longest conversation, that was for sure the start of a pretty special partnership.”
Just as Salah developed a near-telepathic understanding with Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino for several years at Liverpool, it now seems like the same is happening between him and Nunez.
The 31-year-old is part of Klopp’s five-player leadership group at Anfield and has embraced that responsibility by helping the Uruguayan to adapt both on and off the pitch.
Both players go into the Man City game in buoyant form, with the Egyptian scoring four times during the international break and the 24-year-old netting three goals, to go along with the 19 goals they’ve collectively plundered for the Reds already this term (Transfermarkt).
Nunez has still been culpable of some glaring misses in recent weeks but, on the whole, he looks much sharper and more confident now than in his first season at Liverpool.
If either or both of the pair can make a telling impact in a victory for their side at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow, such a prize scalp could just set up Klopp’s side for a prolonged Premier League title challenge over the coming months.